Moody’s: rating bank debt

Agency has a difficult task in updating its approach

China stimulus: is it or isn’t it?

It is too soon to call country’s liquidity injection a stimulus measure

Olive Garden: spaghetti on the wall

It’s easy to be a food critic; dining may be the hardest business to manage

Calpers: just not that into you

The Californian public pension fund ends its relationship with hedge funds

Band leader Freddie Hendrix at Ronnie Scott’s
©Benjamin Amure

Orange / Jazztel: swing time

European telecoms M&A is turning into a raucous party

Tesla: high times

Good value in the long term, but less so in the short term?

SoftBank: playing the market

Group should sell stake in Alibaba bought for $20m in 2000 and is now worth more than $50bn

TRW/ZF: Safety first

Deal price doesn’t reflect potential of driverless technology

A SABMiller employee is seen working on the Hero lager bottling production line in Nigeria
©Bloomberg/OneRedEye

Beer: drinking competition

Heineken’s shareholders have the right to be heard

water cooler in the shape of the Twitter logo
©Meeson

Twitter: feeding time

What is the company pecking at with its $5bn or more?

  • BSkyB and Sky Deutschland: An open marriage

    When BSkyB announced back in late July that it would like to consolidate Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland into Sky Europe, Lex wondered who benefited most. The messy partnership between the three of them, via 21st Century Fox, would become a more coherent European co-habitation in a so-so deal for everyone concerned.

    In particular, BSkyB would pay only slightly above the minimum required by German law for the Sky Deutschland shares held by Fox. But given that Fox, a major shareholder in BSkyB, was the seller of the controlling 57 per cent stake most of the money would stay in the family, so to speak. So if you’re family, no problem.

    Continue reading: BSkyB and Sky Deutschland: An open marriage
  • Asos: mind over shmatter

    Really, it is nothing new. People have been involved in the shmatter business – buying and selling clothes – for thousands of years. It has always been competitive, and still is.

    So consider Asos, which has grown rapidly by overlaying new technology onto this ancient business. When the shares were priced at 100 times earnings (February this year) there was an expectation that this growth rate could last forever. Turns out it couldn’t. Here is what has happened to Asos’ revenue growth over the past three years.

    Continue reading: Asos: mind over shmatter
  • Microsoft buys Minecraft, Lex digs in

    Microsoft has announced that it has bought Mojang, the company that makes Minecraft, for $2.5bn. Lex hates this deal, as we detailed in a note last week. The broad point is this: Microsoft left the Ballmer era and entered the Nadella era as a company badly in need of a strategic identity. Mr Nadella seemed to be establishing one when he suggested the Xbox was not core. Now comes his first big deal. It’s for a gaming company. Argh.

    A few people have been in touch to disagree. They offer three arguments:

    Continue reading: Microsoft buys Minecraft, Lex digs in
  • Brewer M&A: Big Beer

    Heineken has rejected an approach from SABMiller. Is this a cue to the one last big round of beer market consolidation which M&A bankers are (unsurprisingly) often rather keen to talk up? Who would be involved — and exactly where would shareholder value come from?

    Continue reading: Brewer M&A: Big Beer